While UFC has no official ranking of referee’s there’s a definite pecking order – at least among media and fans. Generally speaking, Jason Herzog and Marc Goddard are widely respected and not afraid of calling fouls. Then there’s the second tier – comprised of household names that don’t necessarily make the best decisions. This tier contains Herb Dean and Dan Miragliotta and finally there are guys like Keith Peterson who have become memes online thanks to specific situations.
And while this current roster of refs has their ups and downs there have been two refs in particular that have been banished from the promotion thanks to a series of unsavory decisions even by UFC’s lacking standards.
Those calls belong to Steve Mazzagatti and Mario Yamasaki.
And while the public is mostly appalled when a referee fails to protect an athlete who can’t protect himself, some athletes would prefer to go out on their shield.
Israel Adesanya expressed he wished Marc Goddard would’ve let him get knocked out at UFC 281 instead of what could’ve been an early stoppage (but probably wasn’t).
“F*ck, my ego would say at least let me go out on my shield,” Adesanya said. “But I don’t think I would have gone out because I was still there. I’ve seen worse stoppages. F*cking bring back Steve Mazzagatti. I would have been fine. He might have won that round, but I’d still be champion.”
Derrick Lewis expressed a similar sentiment in lead up to his main event against Sergey Spivak. Spivak is 15-3 in MMA to Lewis’ 26 wins and 10 losses. It should be mentioned that Lewis lost 3 out of last 4 – to Tai Tuivasa, Cyril Gane and Pavlovich.
Lewis is particularly salty about Pavlovich stoppage which he thought was premature.
Was this an early stoppage? pic.twitter.com/nsUTyOuEAo
— calfkicker (@calfkickercom) November 19, 2022
Lewis admitted that a questionable stoppage is harder to deal with and shared:
“No it’s even harder to take this for sure. should’ve won that fight. I believe that I should’ve won the fight. The gameplan that we had for the fight. It should have been easier fight for me. Been done and out before. And also I look at those fights and started to ask if I believe I was winning the fight and stuff happens.”
Mazzagatti was infamous for a number of bad calls. Some of them include the following situations:
Forrest Griffin taps to strikes from Rashad Evans. Steve Mazzagatti ignores him and allows him to go out like a warrior
Yves Edwards knocks out Josh Thomson in a stunning display of vintage Steve Mazzagatti
Steve Mazzagatti allows Josh Burkman to violently elbow the unconscious head of Sam Morgan
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.